Simplifying what I see
The interaction of light and materials and the visual grouping that occurs when you squint determines the colour and value. I adjust them until they approximate the relationships I see before me. The dynamic range of real life is much larger than any media can reproduce, so I have to group, edit and simplify because I have only about 10 to 12 distinct tones to work with.
Leading the eye
I lay in my path, which serves both to lead the eye into the picture and reinforce the perspective of the ground plane. Next, I look for some tonal variation within the larger dark mass that I’ve established. This involves mostly separating out the darker trunks from the noise of the underbrush.